Pupils and teachers at a secondary school are set to work in a huge Portakabin for three years after some of its buildings were deemed unsafe following the discovery of RAAC.
King Ethelbert in Birchington was among more than 200 cases at schools in England that have buildings constructed with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete.
Now, school bosses have submitted a planning application to Thanet District Council for a two-storey Portakabin, with 11 classrooms, to be based at its site for a number of years.
“Following survey works, three structures of education spaces are deemed critically unsafe and cannot be occupied,” the document states.
“Put to full use, the school has no alternative accommodation to decant, nor is it possible to seek off-site provision due to timetabling requirements.
“In order to maintain education continuity for its pupils and staff, it is imperative temporary decant accommodation is installed by way of the two-storey Portakabin building forming this scheme.
“Therefore, the proposed Portakabin building forming this scheme will provide a quality temporary facility whilst remediation works are completed.
The planning application goes on: “We seek approval for up to three years.
“After this time, students and staff will return to the school buildings and the Portakabin building removed from the site.”
Along with 11 classrooms spread across two floors, the enormous block will have two science rooms.
RAAC is a lightweight form of concrete commonly used in construction between the 1950s and mid-1990s. It is a cheaper alternative to standard concrete and has a lifespan of about 30 years.
It is predominantly found as precast panels in roofs, commonly found in flat roofs, and occasionally in floors and walls.
‘Three structures of education spaces are deemed critically unsafe...’
Other schools in the county have been listed on the government’s website after RAAC was discovered at the sites.
Westlands School in Sittingbourne, Birchington Church of England Primary School, Godinton Primary School in Ashford, Palmarsh Primary School in Hythe, St Bartholomew's Catholic Primary School in Swanley, St James' Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School in Tunbridge Wells and Sunny Bank Primary School in Murston.
King Ethelbert head teacher Tom Sellen wrote to parents in September to reassure them pupils will be in school for the first day of term having their usual timetable in all year groups.
“The safety and welfare of our students has always been our priority and will continue to be so,” he said.
“We will also continue to deliver high-quality education to all the students who attend our wonderful school.”